Video Feature: Mike Rowe Supporting Agriculture
This is an interview Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs did with Farm Broadcaster Orion Samuelson. Mike is a friend of agriculture and knows that some of the hardest working people are farmers. He would be a great spokesperson for the industry.
Indiana Livestock Industry Hit Hard by Inspection Cutbacks
Hoosier AG Today
The State Board of Animal Health has announced a massive cutback in state inspections at slaughter and processing facilities. This is causing major problems for meat processors and Indiana livestock producers. The Governor’s Office has mandated a 50% cut in meat inspection at state inspected plants.
Is Choice, Choice? And is Prime, Prime
Christopher R. Raines
Pennsylvania State University
A reader asked this fantastic question: is Choice beef (presuming the same cut, of course) from Bifteck Supérieure the same as Choice beef from Heartland Beef Systems? (of course I’m making up names…) The quick answer, in regard to the USDA grade associated with it, is: Yes.
President to Nominate New Food Safety Official
Hoosier AG Today
President Obama has announced his intent to nominate Dr. Elisabeth Hagen as USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety. Dr. Hagen is currently USDA’s Chief Medical Officer, serving as an advisor to USDA mission areas on a wide range of human health issues. Prior to her current post, she was a senior executive at FSIS.
A Myth of Grass-Fed Beef
New York Times
On the PBS website for the muckraking documentary King Corn—a film that roundly attacks industrial agriculture—the following declaration is made: “Before WW II, most Americans had never eaten corn-fed beef.” This claim, which has become a mantra in sustainable agriculture, is more often than not dispatched to rally support for grass-fed beef—a supposedly healthier and more environmentally sound way to feed cattle—which is to say, in accordance with the rhythms of nature rather than the time clock of industry.
Struggling cattle farmers await new auction house
Smoky Mountain News
If all goes according to plan, a new regional livestock market will open in Canton by late May to more than 3,000 happy cattle farmers from Western North Carolina.
The venue will again provide a stable market to help livestock from WNC find their way into the global marketplace.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity for our district,” said John Queen, a Haywood County cattleman who will operate the new market. “It’ll once again bring this great agricultural county back to life.”
Cattle Health: New Johne’s Disease Q&A Brochure Free, Packed With Info
Beef producers who have culled one or more animals for unresponsive chronic diarrhea combined with reduced milk production and thin condition might want to learn more about Johne’s disease—and find out if their herds are infected with Johne’s disease. A good source of information about Johne’s disease is a recently released 16-page brochure that is free to beef producers and veterinarians.
Meat still means jobs
The imminent loss of 2,000 meatpacking jobs in Iowa reflects changes in the industry toward fewer, more efficient plants employing more workers, not the declining importance of the region as a meatpacking powerhouse.
“I don’t think we’ve seen an end to the industry here at all,” said Darrell Mark, an associate professor of agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “Feeding cattle and hogs in Nebraska and Iowa is much less expensive than almost anywhere.”
Beef Quality Upward Trend Continues
The past year provided another leg upward in the recent trend toward higher quality grades in fed cattle, which drive boxed beef prices.
"USDA Choice and Select are the two leading volume grades," explains Paul Dykstra, beef cattle specialist with Certified Angus Beef LLC, who tracks weekly variations in grading reports. "Brands and specifications further define a pleasurable dining experience, but quality grade still sets the baseline bar for price."
Rancher hands out beef to highlight problems
Winnipeg Free Press
Langruth rancher Kerry Arksey handed out beef to passersby in front of the Legislative Building Tuesday afternoon to call attention to what he says is government neglect of the cattle industry.
The 55-year-old fourth-generation producer has sold off virtually all his cattle and plans to exit an industry he’s been in all his life. In exchange for the beef — he had 400 pounds worth in individually wrapped packages in his truck — Arksey was accepting donations for the Manitoba Farm and Rural Stress Line, a service he has used.
Grass tetany season is near
Beef cattle producers can expect grass tetany to become more of a threat to their animals as soon as green grass begins emerging in pastures. Tetany isn’t unique to poorly run cattle and forage operations. It often occurs on better managed farms, where the soil gets high rates of nitrogen and potassium from poultry litter or commercial fertilizer.
Manitoba’s cattle farms facing a slow death
Globe and Mail Update
He got his first cow at the age of four.
Fifty-one years later, Kerry Arksey gave away the last of his livelihood – one defiant slab of frozen hamburger at a time.
It was his last act as a farmer – a life that gave him three good decades followed by seven disastrous years – as well as one of the strangest protests ever to hit the provincial capital. His aim was to draw attention to Canadian cattle farmers, whose plight has driven him out of the industry.
Controlling Bacteria In Beef Products
The American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) has released a detailed supplemental request for proposals on controlling Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella in beef products. The specific research topics were formulated by AMIF’s Research Advisory Committee and are considered to be the issues of highest priority.
Circle A Presented Hereford Innovator Award
Circle A Ranch was recognized as a Hereford Innovator by the American Hereford Association (AHA) Jan. 14. Mark Akin, general manager, was presented the award during a ceremony at the National Western in Denver. Circle A Ranch was chosen for this award because of its commitment to the heterosis project began in 2007 in partnership with the AHA.
Ohio urges states to gear up for legislative battle
TriState Livestock News
Last November marked a tumultuous time for the agriculture industry. Because of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), an organization with a mission to abolish meat and dairy products from the American diet, seven states have now outlawed some type of livestock penning system.